[Advaita-l] advaita vEdAnta Unit (2)

Kris Manian krismanian at gmail.com
Fri Dec 29 23:29:14 CST 2006


>Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 10:06:22 -0500
>From: "Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna" <puttakrishna at verizon.net>
>Subject: [Advaita-l] advaita vEdAnta Unit (2)
>To: <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>Message-ID: <0JAX000NVTQF5IA3 at vms042.mailsrvcs.net>
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Thanks for this series. I am a beginner and I have several fundamental questions.
I hope the learned ones in this august group indulge and help me understand this
complex philosophy that I am so attracted to follow.

>We concluded Unit -1 with Krishna's response to Arjuna that kAma (desire)
>and krOdha(anger) are the

>root causes of ignorance and hence man's inability to experience the
>divinity with in him. We will review the mechanics of this in this unit.

>From our birth to death man (or woman), is engaged in various activities.
>All the activities have the effect

>of producing the fruits of action. 

>" anishTam ishTam mishram cha tri-vidham karmaNah phalam "

>bhavati atyAginAm prEtya na tu sanyAsinAm kvachit  "- The three-fold fruits
>of action , desirable (life of

>dEvatAs), undesirable ( life of animals ) and mixed (human lives) accrue to
>the non-renouncer (of fruits of actions),after death; but never to the
>renouncer..(gIta 18-12).

>The individual has to experience these fruits of action (karmaphala) in the
>vehicle of dEvas, humans or animals. So this makes it necessary to be born
>again to experience the fruits of action, be it desirable 

>or non-desirable. This is the law of karma. The law of karma is illustrated
>in a figure, archived at
http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/kramakrishna/unit2.gif ).

>The law of karma and reincarnation to experience the karmaphala are the
>corner stones of the 

>philosophies of sanAtana dharma. We need to understand the three categories
>of karma (phala)in order to fully understand the law of karma.

First question: Based on law of karma and re-incarnation, hoping this applies to whole of humanity, why then
only India and china's population grew rapidly and the white/western population decreased?
Does this mean more Indians and Chinese did more bad karma or India and china were the destination of
rest of the world's bad karma. The animal population is decreasing every where due to rise of humans
and gaming. So more animals must be giving birth as Humans.

>1.    sanchita karma (karma in storage)
Is Sanchita karma for one person be distributed and born as more than one person? May be a reason
for population increase?
>2.    prArabdha karma (karma that has begun to bear fruit)
And then there are karmas that we all beings do during our current life and most of them
bear fruit during the life time.Again the fruit may vary from person to person based on prArabdha karma, am I right? Because not every one gets the same results for similar actions. This type of karma is not included in this list, I believe.
>3.    AgAmi karma (karma resulting from future activities).
This definition does not make sense, reading your explanation below it 
should probably read as "unfulfilled Karma resulting from current life activities".

>A man's current life comes his way to experience a fraction of the fruits of
>his activities in past lives,
Does this go to zero when the person attains "Gyana"?

>stored as sanchita karma. The fraction is called prArabdha karma or karma
>that has begun to bear

>fruit. The experiences of this life are the fruits of that fraction of past
>activities. As he go through this

>life, he does some good acts and some not so good acts and so on. These
>acts, if they are desire

>oriented will result in additional fruits to be experienced in future lives.
>The karma, associated with

>the activities of this life is the AgAmi karma, that gets added into and
>stored in the sanchita karma, after death. Desire is the motive for a man's
>activities, which is captured very succinctly in the following two

>verses of gIta;

>" dhyAyatO vishayAn pumsah sanghah tEshu upajAyatE

>sanghAt sanjAyatE kAmah kAmAt krOdhah abhijAyatE"

>" krOdhAt bhavati sam-mOhah sam-mOhat smriti vibramah

>smriti brimshAt buddhi nAshah buddhi nAshAt praNashayti " - (2-62 and 63).

>As man dwells on sense objects, he develops an attachment to them; the
>attachment turns in to desire

>to possess them (a fulfilled desire will lead to indulge in it or creates
>higher desires); 

>an unfulfilled desire creates anger in him; anger leads to delusion which in
>turn causes loss of memory; 

>loss of memory results in destruction of discrimination; Once he looses
>discrimination, he perishes.

>(there is an anti-dote to this, which we will review a little later). -
>These two verses capture the basic 

>message of the law of karma; Being caught in the web of births and deaths is
>what Krishna describes as "he perishes".

>It is generally the story of most humans that the pot of sanchita karma
>keeps growing with each life. As more karma is added to the pot, it necessitates additional births to
>experience the fruits of action. This is because of man's ignorance that happiness is derived by sense objects,
>which he goes after every waking
>moment of his life. The loss of discrimination is what leads man to wrongly
>identify happiness as coming
>from sense objects. D.V. Gundappa says in Kagga, that what man calls as
>happiness is a short interval
>between two long intervals of sorrow or happiness is absence of sorrow.

>We said earlier that the prArabdha karma is only a small fraction of the
>sanchita karma. This fraction
is generally understood to be proportional to the forbearing ability of the
individual jIva to withstand
>misery and sorrow. If one's entire sanchita karma were to be translated to
>prArabdha  for one life, the

>man will collapse under the weight of the misery (suicide!), that he will

But we do see suicides, is it due to imbalances in prArabdha karma?
Does this take in to account, deaths by accident, killing etc. or only natural

>not fulfill the obligations of the prArabdha, which necessitates another
>life anyway. So God in His infinite mercy, will spare the human from such
>extreme encounters. So the jIva moves from life to life to experience his
>own desires, adding to the store of karma with each appearance,
>necessitating more births and so on. 
So what happens to the kids who die prematurely? Were they destined that way? How does this
explain decrease in child death due to medical advances as well  as increase in avarage human
life? This means we will be expensing more of sanchita karma? or is prArabdha karma already based on life expectancy?

>What is the strategy for relief from the cycle of births and deaths? What is
>the exit strategy?

>Theoretically speaking, the answer seems to be simple enough - (1) do not
>add more AgAmi karma
>to the karma in storage and /or neutralize the store of karma (sanchita)
>once and for all.
>[ Here, an analogy can be made to an imaginary ring highway around a
>metropolitan area; this highway
>has no marked exits. A vehicle, with a perpetual source of energy, keeps
>going round and round with

>out any definite purpose. Such a vehicle, if it needs to get out, has to
>make a determined plan for and execute an exit strategy].

>The Rishis of sanAtana dharma have determined such an exit strategy for a
>man to escape from the

>cycle of the law of karma. This strategy is a four step preparatory process
>called "sAdhana chatushTaya"

>-     a four step spiritual discipline. The four steps are

>1.    vivEka (discrimination of Real from unreal).

>2.    vairAgya (detachment or dispassion from sense objects)

>3.    shamAdi shat sampatti ( a collective group of six behavior traits)

>4.    mumukshtva ( intense desire to achieve permanent bliss).
But earlier statement said that "desire" based actions result in sanchita or AgAmi karma?
Should this be defined differently?

Kris Manian

>This preparatory process is the subject matter for Unit - 3.


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